Sam joined William Grant & Sons in 2008 as the The Balvenie Ambassador USA. His new role will take him to global markets from Taipei to Toronto, including the home of The Balvenie Distillery in Scotland, where he first began his whisky journey. He will be responsible for sharing his expertise with media, trade partners, whisky experts and malt enthusiasts using his in-depth whisky knowledge and genuine connoisseurship, sharing his passion for The Balvenie's award-winning range of Single Malt whiskies.
Dr. Whisky's education in the water of life began in Edinburgh, Scotland where he pursued a Ph.D. in English Literature. Within a few short years he excelled at both his English and whisky studies. He earned the prestigious titles of Doctor of Letters, Tasting and Selection Panellist for the international organization, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, and Poet Laureate and President of the Edinburgh University Water of Life Society where he planned and guided whisky history and distillery tours of Speyside, the northern Highlands and the island of Islay.
Sam's passion for whisky then brought him to London where he joined The Whisky Exchange and became the first Society Ambassador of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, hosting tasting events all over England and Scotland. Sam later gained global recognition under the nom-de-plume Dr. Whisky, the name of his online whisky blog of tasting notes and whisky history, and was recognized with a renowned people's choice award in the 2007 Drammies. He has been featured in many publications including Scotland on Sunday, Wine Enthusiast, The Wall Street Journal, and The Malt Whisky Yearbook, and currently sits on the judging panels of the The International Wine and Spirits Competition.
'Whisky has been bringing people together for over 500 years and I am looking forward to meeting whisky connoisseurs from around the world,' says Simmons. 'It is a unique opportunity to share my knowledge and passion for whisky in general and The Balvenie handcrafted single malts in particular.'
Sam's vast knowledge and immense passion for Scotch whisky makes him a great asset to William Grant and Sons. His respect for craftsmanship and maintaining the integrity of two hundred years of whisky-making traditions make him an ideal representative of The Balvenie.
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